Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Underwater Archaeology

  • Colin J. M. Martin
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_612


Some archaeological features lie under water, either because they were deposited there by accident (e.g., shipwrecks) or design (e.g., votive offerings), or because the ground in which they were originally preserved subsequently became inundated by rising water levels, subsidence, coastal erosion, seismic events, or human agency. The mere fact of submergence, however, does not of itself define the investigative disciplines applied to their study. Sunken cities, for example, are the preserve of investigators familiar with the principles of urban archaeology, who must relate their findings to a wider corpus of studies in this field irrespective of whether they were conducted above or below the water. Isolated finds of prehistoric material brought up from the seabed by trawling or dredging, and the survival of fragments of the now-submerged landscapes that contained them, demand the attention of prehistorians and geomorphologists familiar with the wider contexts to which such...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Colin J. M. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of St Andrews, St AndrewsScotlandUK